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Voting after the bombing: Can terrorist attacks change the outcome of democratic elections?

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Abstract

Economists have recently turned their attention to the effects of terrorism. One much debated effect of terrorist attacks is its impact on the results of democratic elections. We use the electoral consequences of the terrorist attacks of the 11-M in Madrid to analyze this issue. We consider this particular experiment since the attack took place only three days before the 2004 Congressional Election, which allows the use of credible identification criteria. In particular, we use the advance voting by Spanish residents abroad, who cast their vote before the terrorist attack, to identify the effect of the bombing. We exploit this macabre natural experiment to run a difference-in-differences estimation using data on three consecutive Congressional elections. Our empirical results indicate that a terrorist attack can have a large impact on the outcome of democratic elections.

Suggested Citation

  • José Garcia Montalvo, 2006. "Voting after the bombing: Can terrorist attacks change the outcome of democratic elections?," Economics Working Papers 1000, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1000
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    Cited by:

    1. Nils Braakmann, 2007. "Islamistic Terror, the War on Iraq and the Job Prospects of Arab Men in Britain: Does a Country’s Direct Involvement Matter? This paper examines whether the labor market prospects of Arab men in Engla," Working Paper Series in Economics 70, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Difference-in-differences; terrorism; elections; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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